A microfluidic chip-like setup consisting of a vascular system of microchannels alternatingly filled with either a resin monomer or a curing agent is used to study the intrinsic physical healing mechanism in self-healing materials. It is observed that, as a prenotched crack propagates across the chip, the resin and curing agent are released from the damaged channels. Subsequently, both the resin and the curing agent wet the surrounding polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix and spread over the crack banks until the two blobs come in contact, mix, and polymerize through an organometallic cross-linking reaction. Moreover, the polymerized domains form a system of pillars, which span the crack banks on the opposite side. This "stitching" phenomenon prevents further propagation of the crack.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.
- crack propagation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science